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Spot the difference

How can e-gaming operators stand out from a slew of rivals touting similar services? Barnaby Page looks at some recent efforts. Plus: X- rated domains for the rest of us, and new Isle of Man licences


roduct differentiation is one of the biggest challenges for e-gaming operators, especially those who lack a land-based mega-brand. Given that table games, at least, are

fundamentally the same from one operator to the next, how can you stand out from the pack? Some interesting answers to this come from Genting, whose latest innovations include a home game product for e-Poker launched in late August – enabling its players to create private tournaments online. The operator is promoting this new feature with a competition that will give eight winners a seat against pro Poker player James Akenhead at the Palm Beach Casino in November. “Being able to invite family and friends to

your own private tournament really drives home the social side of the game and takes playing on Genting Poker to a new level,” said Akenhead. And that’s not Genting’s only tactic to add something special to its online offer. The company’s site is running a promotion called Slot Idol. This “competition” starts with a dozen slots; three will fail to make it through week one’s Boot Camp, another two will be dumped in the second week, and then the least popular will be removed each week for six weeks, until only a winner remains. The full line-up is Gladiator, King Kong,

IronMan2, X-Men, Blade, Pink Panther, A Night Out, Desert Treasure, Bonus Bears, Hulk with Marvel Jackpot, Golden Tour and Frankie Dettori’s Magic Seven. Players will be encouraged to participate by the chance to win free bets and bonuses. That’s a neat way to raise awareness of individual titles (and a brave one, given that it implicitly recognises some games as being signficantly less good than others).

Another spin An alternative way to distinguish yourself

from the rest of the e-gaming market is to not offer gaming at all. Crazy? British firm Cardano doesn’t think so.

It’s addressing the Internet gaming market from an entirely different angle, responding to new players’ need for education.

One way to distinguish yourself from the rest of the e-gaming market is to not offer gaming at all

Its Roulette Calculator online product does what it says. Users can place hypothetical bets (no money is actually staked) on the Roulette wheel and the system tells them how much they could win or lose if the game was for real. It’s pitched as a way for consumers to familiarise themselves with Roulette before venturing into a real casino, whether land-based or online; revenue comes from a £2.99 ($4.90) charge for every 50 calculations.

They only buy it for the articles Have you ordered your .xxx domain name

yet? Easyspace, a British Web-hosting company which admittedly has an interest in talking up the need for domains, says that it’s not just businesses from the adult industry that are grabbing the new .xxx names – indeed, 80 per cent are from other sectors. Said Managing Director Sarah Haran: “The

early indications are that non-adult industry businesses have realised the need to protect trademarks and brands in .xxx.” Registrations begin in early September, at

first limited to owners of trademarks and similar intellectual property.

B2B licences

The Isle of Man has introduced a new kind of e-gaming licence, for business-to-business providers. The Network Services Licence will be issued to firms who sell their gaming platforms to other, consumer-facing operators. It costs £50,000 ($82,000) per year, plus £5000 ($8200) per overseas customer, with retained profits taxed at up to 1.5 per cent.

The level of licence required is dictated by the type of business-to- business relationships a company intends to pursue

Said Garth Kimber, Head of e-Gaming

Development at the Isle of Man Government: “The introduction of this level of licence gives us the ability to satisfy every model of gaming business in the Isle of Man, from those selling their platform capabilities to other businesses to those with direct customers. Our system is now in three tiers. The level of licence required is dictated by the type of business-to-business relationships a company intends to pursue, covers all gaming activities from sportsbook to Poker, and involves the same application process. All levels of licence are still processed in a maximum of 12 weeks.”


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